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Manu’s Summer Grab Bag: No One Knows

The Summer Grab Bag is back to recap the juiciest rumors of the season.

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Well, it’s July once again and after a couple of weeks of decompressing and trying to put the season that just ended as far away from memory as possible, the content churn continues on with the Summer Grab Bag.

But what is there left to talk about? More Max Allegri analysis? Tactical conjectures about a team that won’t play a competitive game in two months?

No, of course not.

It’s rumors, transfer rumors, that’s all there is to talk about, and that’s what these Grab Bags will be all about a weekly recap of every transfer whisper that is worth — or sometimes not even that! — discussing.

Anyways, now that the intro is out of the way, let’s not waste any more time and let’s get right into it.


Juve’s first moves of the offseason were fairly straightforward in bringing back two players from last year who played above their expectations in decent, low-risk and low-cost deals.

Arek Milik was a good — not great — striker for the Bianconeri in his debut season. An injury derailed what could have been a quietly very productive year in terms of goals, but he was a consummate professional who seemed to be a great locker room fit. The ideal version of Milik can give you 10-12 goals as a spot starter, while being versatile enough to fit most lineup configurations thrown his way. If you can get a player like that for €7 million, that’s a deal you make every day of the week — especially in this insanely inflated market.

Adrien Rabiot was probably one of the most shocking players to see back in a black and white jersey as pretty much everyone assumed he’d be gone after authoring the best season of his career in a contract year. It seemed like only a matter of time before some Premier League club threw some double-digit number at him as yearly wages and everyones favorite long-haired French midfielder would be plying his trade in England soon enough.

Yet, for whatever reason, the EPL — or Saudi, for that matter — offers never quite materialized and Rabiot ended up signing back for his same wages with Juventus for another year. From Juve’s standpoint, this is a great deal. You can bring back the best midfielder on the team for another go-round without having to break the bank to get him.

The details of exactly why Rabiot chose to come back on a one-year deal are something only Rabiot and his agent — his mom! — probably know for sure, but it’s hard to see any downside for Juve in this deal.

Out with the old, in with the Weah

As a matter of habit, whenever I try to analyze a situation I think of the very worst-case scenario of what could happen and take it from there. Once I do that, the decision becomes fairly straightforwards. Out of all the outcomes the one that I feel that I can live with, if it all went bad that's the one I chose.

It’s pessimistic sure, but I couldn’t help to think about that when Juventus announced their first brand new signing of the summer in United States international Timothy Weah.

In a worst-case scenario, he’s a like-for-like change for outgoing Juve great Juan Cuadrado and his production is relatively the same with much more affordable wages. If things break right, though? Juventus just signed, on a very affordable fee and wages, a multi-positional and exciting young talent who could give this team a lot more than the washed Cuadrado appearances we got last season.

After many transfer windows in which Juventus just seemed to go for the established veterans and known names, this was the type of signing that signals a bit of a different mentality when it comes to transfers.

Early July News Dump

As a general rule of thumb, when a club is barely appointing their sporting director — and not even officially yet! — I’d disregard 90% of the rumors that you see out there.

Sure, they are looking at bringing Paulo Dybala back, why not? Nicolo Zaniolo said he was a Juve fan! We are just missing the inevitable link to another return of Alvaro Morata and the odd report of Juventus looking at Neymar as an option to have the unfounded rumor bingo.

Look, everyone is in the content churn game. Both the creators of the rumors and the aggregators who will just repost whatever they hear in order to milk that sweet, sweet engagement. Don’t hate the players, hate the game.

That’s why from this Summer Grab Bag forward my one and only aim will be to start a transfer rumor that gets picked up by at least one (1) Juve twitter aggregator. So, with that in mind...

We here at the BWRAO desk are hearing reports that Max Allegri is looking at playing with a five-man backline and a lineup heavily featuring Alex Sandro in the middle of the pitch and wunderkind Nicolo Fagioli anchoring the defense as he experiments with the young Italian as a defender. Allegri has praised his footballing IQ and stout defending chops as he looks to win every single game next season by a 1-0 scoreline.

See you next week.